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Life and Health After Hep C

What does life after hep C mean for us? As we see, there is no single path our lives will take because, once again, we are all uniquely different. Pre-existing or new conditions, whether caused by years of living with hep C, genetics or many other factors will play a part in what our health looks like, post-cure.

For some, health issues remain

Being cured will not fix every health challenge -- physical or emotional. This does not mean that you cannot go on to have good health and live a long and problem-free life, because many do.

There are some of us who will struggle with challenge after challenge with their health and wellness. In my work, I speak regularly to people who do not return to good health after being cured of their hep C. They'll often say “I hoped I would feel much better” or something similar.

Recovery is a process

For some of us providing peer support, it can be difficult to have a conversation with someone who had high hopes, like any of us would. We have seen over the years, and with different therapies, how people can take time-sometimes a long time to recover from treatments. Clearly the older versions of therapy were extreme for most people, and personally, it took a couple years for me to feel much better after a forty-eight-week stint with an old regimen.

We are hearing from people who have treated with newer direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) who are still experiencing a range of medical conditions after treatment. Many may have health issues due to the damage the virus has done. It is noteworthy and needs further investigation, even if I can only speak to anecdotal evidence based on feedback from a substantial number of people who are experiencing post-treatment issues.

How will I feel after treatment?

In general, these are subjects that are missing from the narrative about hep C. There is not enough research into outcomes outside the liver in my opinion and the focus is almost all about eliminating the hep C virus as a public health issue -- who can argue with that.

As someone who lived with hep C and has always supported access to care, I understand that we want to see an end to hep C. There was nothing I wanted more once I was diagnosed than to be free of hep C. There is no question about the amazing progress that has been made in treating and curing hep C, while testing programs that will make significant leaps in a meaningful way remain weak in most places.

Still fighting for more awareness

General awareness about hep C has improved over the years, but still remains greatly misunderstood by the general population and even too many health care providers who do not work specifically in the field have little understanding, with some exceptions of course.

There is a wealth of information now available to people, just not always easy to understand the scientific papers, and to put them into context. In the context of treatment it is better to be cured in my opinion.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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